Cockroaches can be carriers of various diseases because they are commonly found near waste deposits or in the kitchen, where food is present.
Cockroaches belong to Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Class Insecta and Order Blattaria. Some species invade human dwellings and are considered pests. Others are beneficial to the environment as important recyclers of decaying organic material. The pest cockroaches can be carriers of various diseases because they are commonly found near waste deposits or in the kitchen, where food is present. Restaurants may also experience cockroach infestations.
Cockroaches can measure over 50 cm (2 in) length, with tropical species tending to be larger than those found in other climates. Cockroaches have six legs, two antennae and some have wings. However, most winged cockroaches are not particularly adept at flying. Cockroaches emit unpleasant odors and may also produce sound. The Madagascar hissing cockroach is the most famous of these vocal cockroaches, although more common species may produce quieter clicking or chirping noises.
To win the war in cockroach control, here’s what you should know:
Cockroaches are nocturnal insects. They prefer to live and feed in the dark, so a cockroach seen during the day is a possible sign of infestation. Cockroaches tend to prefer dark, moist places to hide and breed and can be found behind refrigerators, sinks and stoves, as well as under floor drains and inside of motors and major appliances. Because they can flatten their bodies to fit into narrow areas, cockroaches may also be found hiding beneath rubber mats, behind wallpaper and within wall cracks.
Cockroach feces will be visible during an infestation. Small roaches produce feces that resemble coffee grounds or black pepper, while larger roaches expel cylindrical droppings. The quantity of visible feces is oftentimes a good indicator of the level or duration of infestation.
Some species emit unpleasant smells. In the event of serious infestation, a strong oily or musty odor may be present. The bodies of dead cockroaches can also be found throughout the house. Oval-shaped egg cases, known as oothecae, are sometimes visible behind furniture and in other hidden locations, such as the spaces between books.
If you believe that you have identified a cockroach infestation within your home, contact ECOMIST to discuss inspection and extermination options.
The length of time it takes to rid your home of a cockroach infestation depends largely upon species and size of infestation. Many over-the-counter products homeowners utilize often prove ineffective against a cockroach infestation. These pests are extremely adaptable and may even be resistant to some home extermination methods.
The most rapid and effective pest control methods are those administered by trained pest control professionals. There are several techniques and tools that can be employed or recommended by these professionals to get rid of cockroaches. One strategy is for the pest control professional to partner with the homeowner to reduce the cockroach attractants. Sources like pet food dishes, drains, dishwashers, trash cans, etc. should be maintained, cleaned and/or stored properly. Another step is to determine the source or entry point for the cockroaches.
Some cockroaches, like the German cockroach, are primarily carried into the home. Homeowners should be careful to inspect items such as used furniture or appliances for cockroaches before bringing them home. Outdoor cockroaches may invade under doors and through open windows. Homeowners and the pest control professionals should collaborate to seal up the home as much as possible. Pest control professional employ various methods depending on the areas where cockroaches may travel or hide. Yet another tool can be proper applications of products such as baits and residuals to cracks/crevices, harborage areas and the exterior of the home. The actual plan and time to get rid of cockroaches will vary by home and situation.
Most of our blog content is posted on the Ecomist New Zealand blog before it is edited for the South African market.